All set for the Bundesliga? A five-point survival guide for its Allies...
LOCKDOWN life up until now has been a bit like chewing one of those lime Starbursts or orange Chewits with the wrapper welded to the surface like a sheet of woodchip glued to a layer of Artex; not great, but you push on like Prince Hamlet against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, extract the most out of your lot and hope that things, as D:Ream were eager to accentuate back in the day, can only get, can only get, can only get better.
With no live and exclusive sport to down tools for, it’s fair to say we’re all fairly replayed and retro-ed out to the gills by now. Our spongy glutes have been nuzzling cold bowls of half-buttered toasted Veda like a Tate Modern installation for too long while we half-wear the same lounge-wear/football shorts as yesterday and, come to think of it, this day last week and the month before that.
Let’s face it – there are only so many All-Ireland finals, FA Cups, World Cup classics and All-Ireland finals, FA Cups and World Cup classics a mere mortal can watch. How many times have you wondered if you were actually in the panel/squad first time round, but just maybe didn’t get
the late nod from Pete McGrath, John Sillett or Enzo Bearzot to come off the bench and bring home the bacon. Did somebody mention bacon? What? Who? Where?
With all the barbershops still shut, those with hair are now starting to resemble Connell Waldron’s clippable south Belfast mate in 'Normal People', BBC Three’s oddly addictive ode to teenage kicks. And those of us with withered follicles are now using fine-tooth combs with serious aplomb before browsing online for some new slip-on moccasins while we’re meant to be listening to someone who’s actually saying really important stuff.
Alas, like a phoenix from the flames, the news we were all waiting for arrived out of Angela Dorothea Merkel’s wondrous gub last week. Actual real-life football. And it's this weekend. Bundesliga baby! Oh Ja! Zero sleeps to go now.
Ah here lads, who doesn’t love the oul’ Bundesliga? Best league in the world at the minute. Love it to bits. Ich liebe dich, as big Connell Waldron might purr to wee Marianne Sheridan in between wearing that spidey chain of his and not winning a single Sigerson Cup because he went to Trinity instead of UCD or Sligo IT. Silver smick chain or the best silverware in Higher Education GAA? I know what I’d have chosen, Connell Waldron, ye big hallion.
Anyway, here’s Dodgy’s very quick fünf-point survival guide to the weekend’s live televised football from the, er, Fatherland.
1: Grow your own mullet, or make one from that unemptied blue bin. Mince about an imaginary six-yard/two-metre box, preferably in your neighbour’s garden, with your hands on your hips and a pout on you like a Botoxed TikToker. We’re talking Andreas Möller (right) here after knocking the hosts out of Euro 96 – the one where football failed to return home. At Wembley. On penalties. Incredibly camp and beautifully effective lockdown behaviour waiting to happen. Share a picture.
2: Park the craft beer for now. It doesn’t always have to be filtered through the small intestine of a Mourne Mountain goat or a Black Forest alpaca and infused with brown turkey figs and dandelions to produce a sweet and sour mouth feel that will blow circular chasms in your cotton socks.
For one weekend only, get yourself into that queue round the block and back again at your local Lidl. Franziskaner Hefe Weissbier (Fra Kane for the non-Teutonic). Four for a fiver or, even more accurately, a dozen for 15 pounds/33 marks. Lidl Abú. And don’t forget the litre of Liebfraumlich to cleanse the palate before Spiel Des Tages (MöTD) on Saturday night.
3: Know all your pre-match German football trivia for the Zoom carry-out.
‘Best team ever to come out of Germany, mate?’ Bayern München? ‘Nein’. West Germany? ‘Bestimm nicht’. Who then? ‘Simples: Stallone, Osman, Moore, Deyna, Caine, Ardiles, Pele, Wark, Summerbee, O’Callaghan, Beattie. 1945. 4-1 down at the interval. Hometown ref and linos. Drag it back to four-all. Stallone on fire, saves injury-time peno from a German’s [das] boot of all the things.
Escape to victory through a tunnel in the showers afterwards. You won’t get that in the Revierderby or at the Allianz Arena, lads. Allies über alles.’
4: Learn to punch that square of garden beside your kids’ mini-net with your bare hands with textbook despair.
Think Bayern’s Sammy Kuffour on the Nou Camp floor in 1999. Strong knuckles will be essential when Eintracht Frankfurt get a seventh corner against in the goalless draw with Borussia, er, Müncheengladback in the 93rd minute to deny you 330 sheets during betting in-play. Should have cashed out for just shy of the 50 in the 82nd minute.
Still, a late spot-kick for SP07 away to Fortuna Düsseldorf could still save the cheeky six-time acca. A Kahn-do attitude is everything here.
5: With no fans allowed inside the stadiums, just create your own lively and tense atmosphere. Don’t lift a hand in the chore stakes from now until next Saturday. Then listen to the fireworks erupt all around you and over your head before you slip into the elasticated lederhosen, slap the curry sauce onto the footlong hotdog and embrace our ‘new normal’ on BT Sport 1,2, 3 and Ultimate HD. No pyro, no party.
Enjoy the games, volks. Fußball ist back. Tony Woodcock, first goal, FC Köln v FSV Mainz, Cologne to win.
Not sure about the perms.